In brief: hemp legislation passed in parliament

The Legislative Assembly has passed the Hemp Industry Bill, which will allow development of an NT hemp sector. The Bill was passed on Thursday 8 August 2019, creating a framework to regulate development and operation of an industrial hemp industry in the NT.

Under the Act, a licensing system now exists for the possession, cultivation, supply, processing and research of industrial hemp, and covers the various prohibitions, necessary enforcement provisions, offences and miscellaneous arrangements to support this industry.

Industrial hemp plants differ from regular hemp species in that they contain very low levels of Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Foods and products made from industrial hemp have no psycho-active effects on individuals when consumed. Hemp fibre has been used for manufacturing of textiles, ropes and lines, paper and building materials. The grain is a highly nutritious food source, as a whole grain, an emulsified cake, flour, or pressed oil.

The Territory is well positioned geographically and climatically to become a region that could supply viable seed for hemp crop propagation in southern broad-acre areas of Australia.

The Act allows for authorised inspectors to be appointed with appropriate powers of entry, inspection and seizure to ensure compliance and provides offences and penalties for contravening specified provisions of the Act.

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